The term “spyware” brings forth a host of ominous images in the mind of the average internet or mobile phone users. Spyware is usually associated with a nefarious, mysterious entity hiding somewhere deep in cyberspace. No one knows who these masterminds behind the spyware are. No one knows what their evil intentions are. Shadowy cabals definitely do exist. Not all of the masterminds behind spyware are known to the public. As it turns out, one of the largest communications companies in the world is behind a push for installing spyware.
Word has it that Verizon is installing spyware on Android devices sold to customers. The purpose behind the spyware serves a traditional spyware purpose. The goal is to collect personal data on the customers.
Verizon is working with another company to co-develop a universal search bar dubbed AppFlash. The good news about the arrival of AppFlash is finding apps and web content could become a lot easier on Verizon Android handsets.
The drawback here is the app is going to collect and send info to Verizon. The reasons behind the collection of data are likely intended to assist Verizon’s business endeavors. Verizon surely would benefit from clear details and data about the customers who use the company’s products. Marketing research is expensive to be sure. Data collection cuts down on some of those costs. Verizon can do a lot with what it has procured.
All this is wonderful for Verizon, but customers might not be too thrilled to discover data is being collected. Customers did not choose to give permission in regards to the collection of data. The invasion of privacy component is what angers customers the most.
Invasions of internet privacy could turn customers into ex-customers. Would-be customers may simply choose to go elsewhere. Granted, the ability to escape spyware and data collection is incredibly difficult.
Distrust is sure to ferment when news spreads of the integration of spyware in a Verizon app. Consumers assume the companies they patronize would treat them with fairness and respect. Data collection crosses a line with scores of consumers.
Not everyone customer really cares, though. As long as the app works well, they do not worry about data collection. The assumption is the data reveals nothing beyond mundane information. Skimming the internet to read up on the stock market, movie reviews, and sports results is not exactly top secret. At least that is how some think. Verizon counts on those customers to look the other way.